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Disposition the word used for the sentencing phase in juvenile court. The Magistrate Judge is provided with a report from the juvenile probation officer that outlines disposition recommendations. The Magistrate Judge gives the prosecuting attorney, the defense attorney (if there is one), the juvenile, their parent(s) and the probation officer an opportunity to make a statement. Sometimes the young person and their parents are asked questions by the Judge. After reviewing the report and listening to the comments, the Magistrate Judge will identify what types of terms and conditions he expects the young person and their family to complete. In addition, he will make a determination about fines and fees that need to be paid.
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The juvenile and his/her parent(s) participate in a semi-structured interview that provides the probation officer with some of the information needed to conduct a risk assessment. Information from the risk assessment helps guide the juvenile probation officer in making recommendations in a report provided to the Magistrate Judge. Input from parents regarding risks, needs and protective factors also helps guide the recommendations.
The Blaine County Juvenile Probation Department currently uses the Positive Achievement Change Tool (PACT) as a tool to determine level of risk to re-offend, or the likelihood that the young person will have further formal court involvement. Information from the interview with the young person and his/her parent(s) as well as collateral contacts (school, counselors, law enforcement) is used to administer the PACT. The PACT also provides on risk factors (areas that make it more likely that a young person will re-offend) as well as protective factors (areas that make it less likely that a young person will reoffend).